By T’soloane Mohlomi

MASERU – The International Organisation for Migration Lesotho (IOM) together with relevant stakeholders recently converged to ratify Lesotho’s current Migration Profile Report.

This is Lesotho’s first United Nations IOM Report, dubbed at Strengthening Migration Data Collection and Analysis including undertaking Lesotho Migration Profile Phase II, the report aims to address Lesotho past, present and future migration issues, taking into consideration the mountain Kingdom’s ever-changing demographic patterns.

 Migration profile Report is important to Lesotho as it aims to disseminate accurate data on the country’s current migration trend, which is essential to government when developing policies and other frameworks which authorities can draw reference from.

With the final Migration Profile Report still under deliberation and yet to be validated, in a nutshell and to provide a sneak peek on the framework; the Migration Profile Concept Report which was presented by consultant Dr Naomi Wekwete  looks mainly at trends and characteristics consisting mainly of commodities such as stocks, flows, Migrant characteristics, overtime observations on changing trends in migration and Internal and international Migration.

Under Migration Governance the Concept Report addresses issues like policies, legislation, institutions and programmes. Migration Impact will address the labour market, the economy, education sector, the health sector and the environment, while International Cooperation focuses on technical assistance to governments and provide direct assistance to migrants.

Among other benefits to be provided by the report, is that it will also provide adequate data recollection tools, bring about capacity building tools for sustainability and periodic updates of migration profile report, provide a policy tool as well as a referencing tool for the support of mobility partnerships, monitoring and evaluation and impact of migration profile and policy implementation.

Overall benefits of the Migration Profile Report include offering a description of key migration trends, provide a framework for an analysis of the impact of migration on development, distribute to promoting effective migration management, review existing migration policies and governance frameworks, provide comparable migration data, review existing migration policies and governance frameworks.

It will also provide adaptable and easy to update migration data collection instruments, functional migration data management structures, strong data management coordination which are updated periodically.

Giving an overview of the predicted and unofficial Lesotho’s current Migration trend consultant Dr Naomi Wekwete said 43% of Lesotho’s households were living with at least one member of the family away from home. And most of the members living away are males. She said the Economy of Lesotho is probably dependent on remittance from other countries including neighbouring South Africa.

The number of migrant workers in South African mines was suspected to have declined since the late 1980’s and provided that African countries where most immigrants in Lesotho came from; South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“In Lesotho 43% of households have a member living away, and with most being males it lead us to a conclusion as to why most of the population in Lesotho were females. We have however backtracked on that as we have learnt that most countries there are more females than males.

“Lesotho’s economy like most Sub-Saharan countries is dependent on the migrant contributions, but the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Lesotho has since decreased starting in the late eighties, as the country endured a decline in people migrating to South Africa and as a result saw the GDP drop.